Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, and infections that could once be readily treated are becoming lethal. If current trends continue, by 2050 some 10 million people will have died from pathogens that can outmaneuver existing antibiotics. Overprescribing, the extensive use of antibiotics in animal husbandry, and the failure of pharmaceutical companies to invest in new therapies all drive the crisis. Recognizing the risks, some food producers and purchasers are turning away from antibiotics, but other aggressive action is essential. What incentives will encourage industry research into new antibiotics and get physicians to write fewer prescriptions for existing ones? Can we diagnose illness faster, allowing antibiotics to be used more appropriately, or find new infection-curing techniques?
Speakers: Diane Archer, Moderator Anthony S. Fauci Margaret A. Hamburg Ramanan Laxminarayan